4.5
332 votes

Titanic Museum Branson

3235 76 Country Blvd, Branson, Missouri 65616 USA

$$
$$$$
Reasonable
Open Now
Sat 9a-8p
  • Independent
  • Credit Cards
    Accepted
  • Wheelchair
    Accessible
  • Public
    Restrooms
  • No Wifi

“the world's largest "museum attraction"”

The 1912 sinking of the Titanic offers a storyline that would tempt any tourism mogul. But unless you can bankroll a fun-house/motion-master IMAX ride that puts hundreds of visitors in the center of the calamity -- and thus far no one has -- you're sunk. You could open a museum of artifacts instead, but that presents a problem: most of the ocean liner's contents ended up at the bottom of the North Atlantic. In the late 1980s, John Whitman of Sidney, Ohio, tried to navigate around this obstacle by opening a Titanic theme park, which combined entertaining distractions with a handful of artifacts. Whitman wanted to build a huge replica of the ship (he owned the original blueprints) and a fake Liverpool wharf through which visitors could wander. But his dreams were premature, and without support from the town, or almost anyone else in Ohio, his attraction folded. Then came the movie in 1997, and suddenly the Titanic was a hot property. Two businessmen opened Titanic: Ship of Dreamsin a strip mall in Orlando. They sweetened their collection of Titanic stuff with items from Titanic's sister ships, so that you could look at stuff that was nearly identical to the stuff lost on the Titanic. They also significantly upped the "attraction" ante by building a replica of the ship's Grand Staircase, and its bridge, and by populating the museum with actors dressed as the crew. Business differences eventually split the partnership. One partner, John Joslyn, departed with his memorabilia. Now, Joslyn is back. Titanic, phase three, is here. Joslyn's place, opened on April 10, 2006, is called Titanic: World's Largest Museum Attraction. Turning "museum" into an adjective is necessary, as the museum by itself is not a world's largest anything. The "attraction" part, however, has been greatly improved over Orlando. Titanic is housed inside a half-scale replica of the front half of the ship. Concept drawings show it emerging from a huge billboard on which is painted the back half. That billboard hasn't been built yet, so what exists now is impressive, if incomplete. Although the smokestacks stand ten stories tall, visible in the distance to drivers around Branson, don't expect to lose yourself in an exact replica of the RMS Titanic, where you can crawl through the coal bunkers and shimmy up to the crow's nest. This is a two-story building -- a 20-room 16,000 square foot walk-thru -- wrapped in a doomed ship facade. Imagery and overt connections to the 1997 James Cameron Hollywood blockbuster won't be found either. The focus is on the historical Titanic -- a reasonable course in a town where the average visitor is a senior citizen. The elderly Branson demographic could also explain why lack of a motion thrill ride is not a problem. The "museum" contains 400 artifacts, more than in any previous Titanic attraction: a dollar bill carried by the Titanic's barber, a menu from the Titanic's dining room, some letters written on Titanic stationery, a couple of life vests, two deck chairs, a pocket watch from a dead passenger. Still no match for the density of items you might find in, say, Branson's Veterans Museum. But at Titanic, there's enough going on that you probably won't care. You enter Titanic through a stucco iceberg wedged into the side of the ship. Once inside, you're invited to chill your hand on a wall of ice, a new application of the tongue-sticking technology that has frozen Santa Claus Land "north poles" for generations. You're issued a "boarding pass" with the name of a Titanic passenger or crew member, and won't find out if you live or die until you're almost to the gift shop. But you can make an educated guess about your fate. For instance, if you are Reverend somebody, you drowned after giving your life jacket to some heathen Costumed historical interpreters wander about: men in double-breasted officer uniforms, women dressed as chambermaids. Audio atmospherics are everywhere: foghorns, clanking bells, muffled voices, barking from behind a door labeled "Dog Kennel." You walk past a cramped Third Class cabin and an engine room boiler. "Try To Shovel Coal Into The Furnace," a sign encourages, and placing the shovel with the glued-on coal into the boiler elicits a whoosh of pleasing combustion. You ascend a replica of the Titanic's Grand Staircase -- even grander than the one in Orlando -- and find yourself in First Class. There you'll see a sumptuous suite of rooms, and a guy resembling Titanic's captain walking around, assuring everyone in a sonorous baritone that everything is fine. You walk onto the bridge, and then out to a room facing a black backdrop peppered with tiny lights -- the Promenade Deck on the final night. The Sinking Room has a series of progressively steep sloping decks you can try to stand on, a lifeboat in which you can sit, and a bowl of 28 degree salt water where you can immerse a finger. Endurance is timed by a nearby clock, and you probably won't last a minute. It helps you to understand why nearly everyone in the water quickly succumbed. John Joslyn at his Titanic attraction in Branson, Missouri. One exhibit encourages you to watch as a styrofoam cup is put into a tank replicating the pressure currently crushing the Titanic on the seabed. The cup is compressed to the size of a marshmallow. The message is clear to us: anything that went down with the Titanic is in no condition to be displayed in a museum (in consolation, you can write on a cup and have it squashed as a souvenir). The Memorial Room comes next -- where you can scan for your name on a glass wall to learn whether you're alive or dead -- and then the Recovery Room, which displays the 26-foot-long model of Titanic's collapsed bow used in the Cameron movie. Then it's on to the gift shop, which sells only souvenirs that reflect the opulent, ultra-elegant Titanic. It's as if the horrific tragedy, catalyst for the "museum attraction," had never happened. Do you really want your luggage labeled with a "Titanic" tag? Do you really want to walk around with "Titanic" on your shirt or hat? Actually, yes which probably says more about us than about the Titanic or this attraction. John Joslyn told us that he once negotiated with a Las Vegas casino to build the kind of Titanic attraction that we dream of. "You'd be chased down hallways by walls of water," is how he described it. The deal fell through, but John still has the vision, and he's more likely to succeed where others have failed. Until then, kudos to Joslyn for dropping anchor in Branson, and to Branson for accepting a museum into its bosom that does not involve patriotism or Christianity. Oh, and also for having the optimism to associate itself with a giant sinking ship.

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Reviewed by
teresa.b.woodside

  • Road Warrior
  • 27 Reviews
  • 19 Helpful
April 05, 2017
Rated 3.0

It was ok but not all that. I don't think small children would like it.

2 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
jsmith99723

  • 8 Reviews
  • 11 Helpful
April 05, 2017
Rated 4.0

There was a good amount of information and reproduction so I will give it a 4. Like the other reviewer, not sure kids would enjoy although there are a few things for kids. Am a little disappointed about the inability to take any pictures in some of these attractions. With dad at home unable to travel, our ability to share things with him is very limited. Some of this may just be a ploy to sell more from the gift shop...Appreciated the efforts to cover those that helped others to survive and how the band played on. The heroes that gave their lives for others.

2 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
teresa.b.woodside

  • Road Warrior
  • 27 Reviews
  • 19 Helpful
July 02, 2016
Rated 3.0

It was ok but not all that. I don't think small children would like it.

2 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
jsmith99723

  • 8 Reviews
  • 11 Helpful
July 02, 2016
Rated 4.0

There was a good amount of information and reproduction so I will give it a 4. Like the other reviewer, not sure kids would enjoy although there are a few things for kids. Am a little disappointed about the inability to take any pictures in some of these attractions. With dad at home unable to travel, our ability to share things with him is very limited. Some of this may just be a ploy to sell more from the gift shop...Appreciated the efforts to cover those that helped others to survive and how the band played on. The heroes that gave their lives for others.

2 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
ewricha

  • 11 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
April 05, 2017
Rated 2.0

We didn't go in but definitely worth taking a picture of.

Was this helpful?

Reviewed by
Wavtu

  • 6 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
April 05, 2017
Rated 5.0

I found this place to be a pleasant surprise. I thought it would be hokey, but it was actually a well put together museum.

There was enough fun to keep the kids entertained and plenty for us adults as well. The music room was particularly great with the docent beautifully playing the piano for us.

The docents throughout were knowledgeable, engaging and friendly. The artifacts were interesting and while we were there they had the bandmaster's violin in the memorial room, which was incredible.

As stated by another reviewer there is a no pictures policy, which while disappointing, it did make for a more engaging experience without photo ops and people on their phones everywhere, so I didn't mind it too much.

Definitely a gem in Branson.

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Reviewed by
lasundquists

  • 28 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
April 05, 2017
Rated 5.0

Phenomenally well-produced attraction about Titanic. Extremely historically accurate with the most engaging museum curators I've met (and our hometown museum is the Smithsonian!).

Worth the stop. You will learn a lot!

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Reviewed by
ewricha

  • 11 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
July 02, 2016
Rated 2.0

We didn't go in but definitely worth taking a picture of.

Was this helpful?

Reviewed by
Wavtu

  • 6 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
July 02, 2016
Rated 5.0

I found this place to be a pleasant surprise. I thought it would be hokey, but it was actually a well put together museum.

There was enough fun to keep the kids entertained and plenty for us adults as well. The music room was particularly great with the docent beautifully playing the piano for us.

The docents throughout were knowledgeable, engaging and friendly. The artifacts were interesting and while we were there they had the bandmaster's violin in the memorial room, which was incredible.

As stated by another reviewer there is a no pictures policy, which while disappointing, it did make for a more engaging experience without photo ops and people on their phones everywhere, so I didn't mind it too much.

Definitely a gem in Branson.

Was this helpful?

Reviewed by
lasundquists

  • 28 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
July 02, 2016
Rated 5.0

Phenomenally well-produced attraction about Titanic. Extremely historically accurate with the most engaging museum curators I've met (and our hometown museum is the Smithsonian!).

Worth the stop. You will learn a lot!

Was this helpful?

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Titanic Museum Branson

3235 76 Country Blvd
Branson, Missouri
65616 USA

Hours

Open now until 8:00 pm
  • Sun - Sat: 9:00 am - 8:00 pm

Is there a problem with this listing? Let us know.

  • Independent
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Public Restrooms
  • No Wifi
  • Private Parking
  • Yes Parking

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